April 15, 2013
• LISTEN TO COACH OEHRLEIN NEWS CONFERENCE
MADISON, Wis. -- Head coach Todd Oehrlein talked with the media about the Badger season and the upcoming tournaments including the Big Ten Championship April 26-28 at French Lick, Ind.
The following transcript was recorded at the regular Monday news conference on Monday, April 15, at the Camp Randall media room.
Todd Oehrlein: Always great to head over to the Scarlet Course. Ohio State, they've got a great place, great golf course, very strong test. As you get closer to your conference championships, you like to kind of ramp up the type of golf courses you're playing, and we'll see a great one.
We saw a great one our last event down at the Dallas Athletic Club. Little piece of trivia for you, it's where Jack Nicklaus won his first major. So tells you a little bit about the caliber of the golf course.
As I mentioned, we'll head over to Ohio State and get ourselves ready and prepare for the conference championship down in French Lick.
Brian mentioned one senior led the way for us this year. Had a great senior season, and I hope she finishes strong. I know she's working hard, and no doubt she'll play really well, Lindsay Danielson.
And we have a junior, Kris Yoo, who's just had an incredible season. She's really taken another step forward, and she's just been rock solid for us in the three years she's been here and just continues to work hard. Just a great example of seeing a player develop and progress just through her purpose and practice and just how she goes about her business day in and day out.
And we have a sophomore, Kimberly Dinh, who's really stepped up and had a nice year for us. Gained a lot of experience for us last year as a redshirt freshman, and this year, you can tell, a little more comfortable this spring and really started to put it together. Winning that invitational and having her second victory this year at the BYU Tournament out in St. George, Utah, in Entrada.
To see Kim and Kris go back and forth, and the team was in a tight battle with Minnesota at the time, it was just a great, great weekend for us.
That's a bit of where we're at and looking forward to wrapping up some qualifying rounds this afternoon. We'll have the lineup selected going to Ohio State, and we'll leave on Thursday.
Q. How much has Lindsay helped the rest of the club? Being the leader that she is this senior year.
OEHRLEIN: She's set a great example her entire career. She really has. We talk about leadership not having to fall on I think on your great teams, leadership comes from a lot of different areas. It doesn't necessarily fall on one person's shoulders all the time.
We talk to them about never passing on an opportunity to provide leadership or be a leader. Sometimes that opportunity can be in an isolated moment one on one when you're a freshman and just giving a positive word to another freshman or something along those lines. That's kind of the way Lindsay has gone about her business her entire career, very positive influence, very calming, very steady influence, very consistent in her day in and day out approach.
And you see the results out on the golf course, and it's a great example and not afraid to encourage and talk to the teammates and do some different things along the way as well. So very steady, great leader.
Q. Talk a little bit about the course at French Lick. You played it for the first time last year. Is it the first of a three year contract down there?
OEHRLEIN: It is. This year we'll be in the second year there. Very difficult course, it's a Donald Ross golf course. Donald Ross like designed Pinehurst and designed a lot of great golf courses, and he's known for very demanding greens. Kind of always been his little niche.
French Lick is a great example, and it's kind of where the golf course is. It's about placement and putting the ball in the right spot on the greens and making sure you have good speed control. It requires a lot of patience to play that golf course very well.
It's going to put a lot of pressure on your game, and then you'll have a championship setup, as you should. It's a conference championship. It shouldn't be set up easy. So it will be long and strong, and we'll see what mother nature has in store for us from a weather perspective. You just deal with that.
Q. I know you don't want to look ahead, but how nice is it to know you're going to have Kimberly and Kris for another year, and they've made such strides here coming up on the conference tournament?
OEHRLEIN: I'm glad they aren't graduating, that's for sure. It's always nice when you have contribution from underclassmen. I think we have a really nice distribution right now with our team. One senior and a couple of juniors that are playing fairly consistently and a couple of sophomores. We've got some freshmen that are right there knocking on the doorstep, one that's had a little experience this year, and a good incoming class.
I think, once you start to get things established a little bit, you start to see that balance there, and that's important.
I know how hard they work. Back to your question about Kris and Kim, I know the way they approach their routines and their habits, and I know what they'll do this summer, and I know how hard they'll work. Just expect them to continue to move forward, which is a great outlook.
Q. This isn't your first time dealing with the Wisconsin spring, but how challenging is it for them mentally, especially to deal with it as golfers wanting to be outside, as cold as it is outside, hitting off the grass?
OEHRLEIN: It's been a difficult spring. You can't focus on it. Mike alluded to the facility that we have. That's helped a great deal. Interestingly enough, our ball striking statistics for our players are better than they were in the fall. We're hitting more fairways and driving it a little further. Some of the players picked up a little yardage, and greens in regulation stats are up a little bit for a couple of the players.
There's no substitute for getting out on the golf course and seeing the speed of the greens and green side situations. So that's just kind of where we're at. We're just trying to find those things. That's where we're anxious. That's where you're excited to get out there and see that.
But you don't dwell on that. You focus on what you have, and you focus on making it to the best of your ability. And where you can practice and what you can do, you need to become really efficient. You need to become really good at it.
Q. Has this team reached its peak yet? Secondly, what's ahead if not? Can this team compete at French Lick in a couple of weeks?
OEHRLEIN: Yeah, the team can compete at French Lick. It has the potential to be as contested a championship as we've seen in a while. Probably six teams down there that realistically can compete. There's certainly the favorite and those types of things, but there's a little more depth. It's been a great league this year. There's been a lot of balance.
The team has not peaked right now. We aren't playing as well as I know we're capable of playing. We've had moments of really solid golf for long stretches. We just need to make it a little more consistent and hold rounds together.
A lot of times, a sign of early season golf in early season rounds, you see players go out in what seems like simple situations and they kind of complicate them. We can all relate to that if we've played the game. And yet when a player is more in midseason form and the players that are they don't really complicate those situations as much.
So that's kind of where we're working, and we're working on that and just need to move forward from that point.
But best thing about our sport, one of the great things about our sport is we don't necessarily have to be at our peak the 15th of February. We just need to be there at the end of April and into May. That's kind of what you just keep moving forward.
Q. Any truth to the rumor that you are the TV viewer who called to turn in Tiger at Augusta National? Since Michael got a crack at it, can you use this as a teaching point, or how would you use it right away with your players?
OEHRLEIN: No truth. And I the teaching point is just reviewing basic rules situations. We talked about it a lot because it was all the rage. Everybody was talking about it. It was the hottest topic out there over the weekend.
I agree with Mike as far as it's hard to really tell exactly whether he took an advantage or not. When he admitted that he was trying to gain a couple extra yards, I mean, that's what got him into trouble. I have no problems with him playing over the weekend. The rules official said it was okay to play, and that was their ruling. So I thought he should go ahead and play.
But you asked Mike the question about knowing the entire rule book. You know the situations, and you know the common situations that come up on a routine, regular basis, and we have a great understanding of the rule book, but there are so many just kind of odd situations that present themselves over the course of the season, and you're just not sure. That's where that Decisions Book comes in, and that's where you need to call the rules official.
So it was an interesting discussion amongst the team and just knowing the rule and knowing what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to handle it.
It's an interesting deal with where viewers can call in, though, and change that. I think I heard Andy make a comment about it. I saw traveling in an NBA game last night. It's just kind of but each sport is unique in its own way.